Arthur J. Gustafson Jr. died peacefully at his home in Williamsburg on January 18, 2016 after a year of battling COPD.
He will be greatly missed by his loving second wife Barbara Schroeder-Gustafson, her children and their spouses Laura and Henry Haefner, Edward Schroeder, and Diane and Michael D’Uva and her grandchildren Erich and Kurt Haefner and Lisa and Joseph D’Uva as well as Arthur’s nephews Michael and William Mitchell and his niece Catherine Mitchell.
Preceding Arthur in death are his mother Gloria Hatch, his father, Arthur J. Gustafson, his stepfather Richard Hatch, his sister Eleanor Hannan Mitchell, and his first wife Katherine Vaughn Gustafson.
Art was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia on June 27, 1927 and was a graduate of Granbury High, Norfolk, Virginia. He served in the Navy in World War II and was a victim of the U.S. Army’s poison gas tests conducted in 1945 by the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Corps on numerous Army, Air Force, and Navy recruits. He developed COPD late in life primarily as a result of that testing.
After WWII, Art attended the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) and received a degree in electrical engineering. He then worked 14 years for the Naval Mine Engineering Facility in Yorktown, Va.
The rest of his engineering career was at the U.S. Army Aviation Laboratory in Fort Eustis, Va. Art thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of engineering and was an avid reader and researcher throughout his life.
He also became an active student of the Bible, reading it through numerous times and researching many aspects of religion. His other passions included traveling, gardening and learning new gardening techniques, and teaching others. In his spare time he was also an enthusiastic golfer, swimmer and hiker.
In retirement he pursued his love of gardening by becoming a Master Gardener in James City County-Williamsburg. Art served both on the local Master Gardener Board and as the Hours Coordinator for many years. He became an avid Master Gardener Tree Steward, led numerous workshops on composting and pruning, and was an enthusiastic vegetable gardener.
Art met his wife Barbara through the Master Gardener program and they often participated in gardening activities together. They also served together as co-chairs of various programs including the Historic Triangle Community Garden and Grow It & Eat It, an annual community seminar on growing vegetables.
A celebration of Art’s life will be held Wednesday, January 27, at the Jamestown Presbyterian Church, 3287 Ironbound Road in James City County. The service will begin at 2 p.m. with a reception afterward. Please come join us.
His ashes will be laid to rest in a separate ceremony in the Ecoeternity Forest at Makemie Woods, a 275 acre Presbyterian camp and conference center in New Kent County. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund, 41 Old Oyster Point Road-Unit D, Newport News, Va 23602.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.
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